The Ocean's Daughter

“That girl’s eyes loved gazing into water,
in her doubly delightful vision,
but he was still learning the liquid language,
and there’s danger and there’s damage,
there’s envy and derision,
when you love the ocean’s daughter.

So he told this girl that of course he
had been in love once, but that girl
turned out to be a mermaid, and he
couldn’t swim or even go overboard
and sink down to where her eggs were
lying like multitudinous, enticing pearls
slowly drifting away on the luminous
white sand at the bottom of the blue

He didn’t really like the water very much,
I guess… so anyway, what this girl told me
was that after that he always, ironically,
had the blues, like a deep glinting reflection
in his eyes, like the distant echo of a soprano
saxophone in his ears…

The first time this girl met him, apparently,
he turned to her and said, “What did you say?”
and forced a smile politely to his lips, his lips
that would never kiss an earth-woman or
taste the flower-sweet air that floats through
her, although she may have any number of
his wistful, wondering children clinging to her
skirts, while her tears flow endlessly back to
the sea."

This tale is being told by an older woman and is about the way some people can use an imaginary attachment to avoid committing to reality.

I am a Canadian, originally from Ontario, and am now living in Calgary, Alberta. I have studied sciences and anthropology at university and travelled across North America and briefly to Mexico and the Caribbean. I have been writing for over 20 years and performed my work in public. I have written more than 100 poems, several short stories and am presently working on a few novels.

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  • Matt Roberts
    Matt Robertsover 5 years ago

    Nicely written.

  • Thanks, Matt.

    – Nancy Ames

  • pagan
    paganover 5 years ago

    you really maintain a dreamy tone throughout this entire work, it works brilliantly with addressing someone’s struggle with facing reality. great writing nancy!

  • Thanks again for the enthusiastic appreciation, gretchen.

    – Nancy Ames

  • SlayerX
    SlayerXover 5 years ago


  • Thanks, Junior.

    – Nancy Ames

  • Solomon Walker
    Solomon Walkerover 5 years ago

    beautiful poetic piece!

  • Thanks, Solomon.

    – Nancy Ames

  • Anna Shaw
    Anna Shawabout 5 years ago

    Fabulous writing Nancy.

  • Nancy Ames
    Nancy Amesabout 5 years ago

    Thanks, Anna – I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  • Rocky Loder
    Rocky Loderover 4 years ago

    great write…

  • Thanks again, troader.

    – Nancy Ames

  • lilynoelle
    lilynoelleabout 4 years ago

    Hmmm. If I could only express the emotions that flood me after reading this poem. It is elegant, bittersweet, romantic, and unique, as well as intensely feminine. I am in love with your words! They are glorious.


  • Thanks so much for your generous response to this poem, lilynoelle.

    – Nancy Ames

  • SimplyRed
    SimplyRedalmost 4 years ago


  • I am so happy to be featured in the All Out Emotion Group. Thanks, SimplyRed.

    – Nancy Ames

  • highbeam
    highbeamover 3 years ago

    I’m not so sure I would call this simply feminine… but extremely well crafted, thought out, reflective, emotive and representative of damn good writing! Great job Nancy. I see a double barrel salvo!

  • Thanks very much, Russel. I am delighted to be featured in Art and Ink So Free.

    – Nancy Ames

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